I have been reading the second volume of Sloterdijk's magnum opus for a couple of months now. I still haven't found the time for a full review, or, as I have done in the past with some books, to post quotes here. However, the book is so significant that I've decided to write this post now and share a few quotes:
"As a process of growing solidarity complexes, the history of homo sapiens in the time of advanced civilization is above all a battle for the integral and integrating hothouse. It is based on the attempt to provide the wider inside, the reconciling own, the more far-reaching common area with an invulnerable form, or at least a livable one that is superior to the attacks from the outside.
That this attempt is clearly still in progress, and that despite immeasurable setbacks-the struggle for ever largerparts of humanity to move into ever larger communal shelters or endospheres is still being undertaken, testifies as much to its irresistible motives as to the stubborn resistance to the historical pull into the extended realm of inner security. Struggles to preserve and expand spheres form both the dramatic core of our species' history and its principle of continuity."
However, if you look around, at the world as it is today... we have more setbacks than progress...
Stay tuned ... I will put here quotes and my thoughts on that great book ...
"As the monstrous employer in the work of mourning, death is the first sphere stressor and creator of cultures. The mourning communes survive by accepting the task of taming the fury of disappearance through expanded spatial formation. It is the distancing power of the imagination, which embeds the current living space in surrounding spaces of ghosts and the dead, that spawns cultures as self-harboring spatial figments in the first place."
November 12, 2023 ...
See Peter Sloterdijk's latest great lecture: Future Cities Conference 2023 | Peter Sloterdijk | The Future of Too Big Cities - YouTube
November 25, 2023
Human is "a natal and mortal creature"...
See what is an essential thought from "Vascular Memories" chapter:
"Hence the human being is the animal that, together with its significant others, produces endospheres in almost every situation because it remains shaped by the memory of a different having-been-inside, and by the anticipation of a final being-enclosed. It is the natal and mortal creature that has an interior because it changes its interior. Relocation tensions are in effect in every place where humans exist; that is why their entire history is the history of walls and their metamorphoses."
"With the concept of a peripheral sea, ancient cosmography established a semantic reservoir on which modern oceanic ideas could draw for it was only the Europeans of the Modern Age that understood the oceans as real global seas and world media. This lexical history mirrors the historical shift of emphasis that led potamic spaces and river cultures to fall behind Pontic-oceanic power centers."
"What is even more notable about Homer's mention of Oceanus is the reference to conceptions of the world dominated by the Great Mother, for, as an all-encompassing figure, the world boundary river Oceanus has unmistakable amniotic qualities. How else could vascular attributes be assigned to a surrounding body of water? Oceanus may be depicted on a masculine-maritime device, but his energy of form testifies to an older world context defined by the precedence of female motifs; it is characteristic of this context that it is not the solid enclosed by the liquid, but the liquid by the solid. If liquid is to be presented as giving stability, it must be accompanied by a specific container energy - a condition that is only met if the surrounding water possesses amniotic morphological powers. This world boundary thus has elements of that original life-within-life structure which, as I attempted to show above, had to provide the self-harboring of the we-groups in the endo-milieu before all architecture or metallurgy. As long as the outermost wall is imagined as a boundary of water, it absolutely possesses the properties of the living that contains the living."
This sentence: "building vessels-granaries in the city center and silos for deities at the center of the soul space" is an ingenuous observation! See it in context:
"On the threshold of advanced civilization, humans reached a lucid and almost final definition of what is necessary to survive failed harvests and wrong living conditions: grain and memories of integrity. Storing these two commodities inevitably requires building vessels-granaries in the city center and silos for deities at the center of the soul space - and because each of these commodities is somehow connected to the living principle of the group, the walls of these (built and spoken) vessels that contain such indispensable stores must be guarded with sacred attentiveness."
December 3rd, 2023
"The symbolic destruction of ancient Rome through the quenching of the state hearth was only possible, however, because the empire, particularly in its new headquarters, the Second Rome, had found a different integrative principle and an alternative symbol of social synthesis in the religion of Christ. And indeed, for over a millennium, the Christian lux perpetua proved eminently suitable to replace the sacred fire of ancient Rome."
December 16th, 2023
The importance of the Ark symbolism
"Ark concept from the Latin arca, "box" (compare to arcanus,"closed, secret") - exposes the most spherologically radical spatial idea which humans on the threshold of advanced civilization were able to conceive: that the artificial, sealed inner world can, under certain circumstances, become the only possible environment for its inhabitants. This gave rise to a new kind of project: the notion of a group's self-harboring and self-surrounding in the face of an outside world that has become impossible.
The ark is the autonomous, absolute, context-free house, the building with no neighborhood; it embodies the negation of the environment by the artificial construct in exemplary fashion."
"One notices that the biblical ark, the paradigmatic ship in the history of human natural disasters, seems to have lacked any means of steering, as if ships whose construction has been decreed by God have no need of a bridge (this would make the ark not so much a ship as an oversized raft.)
Read from this angle, the biblical tale of Noah's Ark reproduces the first de-founding experiment. In its own way it would be unsurpassable, were it not for the fact that numerous extrabiblical, extra-European cultures are equally familiar with the motivic alliance of a flood and successfully floating endospheres.
The realization that the outer floor can be withdrawn, and must be replaced with a floating inner world's own floor, has been expressed in manifold mythological forms across the human race."
"The manifold subcultures of modern social systems-whether organizations or private contexts-form colorful fleets of arks on every scale that navigate self-referentially in a flood of environmental complexity that will never sink again. But one no longer sends doves to fly from one's own scene so that they can show with a green twig in their beak that things are simple again outside. Postmodernity abandoned the dream of landing after the flood; now the flood is the land. Where only absolute houses are left, each in its own drift, returning to what was once called land has become impossible."
December 24th, 2023 (Lodz)
What are cities in their most profound sense?
"From that point on, politics, architecture and theology are merged into a shared macro-immunological project. The large-scale body politic appears as the builder of a world interior. As late as the sixteenth century, Martin Luther would formulate his reformatory battle song "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" entirely in the tradition of ancient Near Eastern and ancient European mural phantasms of immunity. In this respect, one can view the Mesopotamian city buildings-alongside the Egyptian temple complexes as the most important laboratories of the rising imperial psychology and theology: more than in any other part of the world, people experimented here over millennia, in ever new arrangements and from ever new centers, with the production of large-scale interiors with their corresponding construction forms, world picture forms, soul forms and immune structures."
December 30th, 2023 (Lodz)
The religion of the cities and fortresses...
"No religious person on the first level can discern the primal fact of all religion as crypto-architecture and crypto-grammar"
"The gigantic wall supported the city residents in their attempt to overcome their soul infection through the internally understood large-scale space. The true purpose of the walls was to show their inhabitants, who were forced to adopt large-scale thought, the state of things. By looking down on the population inside them, the monumental edifices informed them that great thoughts and great dangers would henceforth be an immediate reality"
"That the Roman arena could advance to a metaphor for the world stemmed from the fact that the central tenet of ancient fatalism attained concretion in its construction: no one escapes the of this world alive. Everyone in it must fulfill their destiny to the end.The only concession offered by this place is that, with a little luck and diligence, our failure can be postponed.The Roman-style theater of cruelty acted as a destiny generator in which the masses observed the last relevant difference between humans the distinction between those who die sooner and those who die later in the form of a sporting divine judgment."
January 28th, 2024, Lodz
"What phenomenologists, following on from Husserl's late work, tend to describe with the term "lifeworld" should be viewed primarily as an olfactory phenomenon before the deodorizingrevolution of the last two centuries-on a scale that modern subjects lack the criteria to 'grasp.'
The being-with-oneself of the early groups in settlement collectives cannot be described without reference to a constant presence of ominous native vapors. Lifeworld is breathworld-nicely said, but what is the point of breath as long as the shared air of the settled lies under the spell of the sewer?"
"... the systemic location of the modern mass media, in so far as they function as transporters for symbolically coded secondary smells or metaphorical vapors of large groups. Here we find an opportunity to recall the kinship, not only an etymological one, between smells [Gerüche] and rumors [Gerüchte]. The rumor is the spoken smell - it is no coincidence that rumors are imagined as winged creatures that infiltrate social biotopes with demon speed.
Rumor is as infectious and rapid as ill will. With the implementation of a system for the text-assisted spread of smells, the mass press' that has been successful since the nineteenth century makes a contribution to the current social synthesis that is impossible to either to overlook or oversmell."
February 10th, 2024, Dębina
The Ontological Proof of the Orb
"In the moment of its foundation, philosophy was a purification plant for traumatized intelligence"
February 11th, 2024, Dębina